3 dead as Cyclone Amphan crosses Odisha before making landfall in Bengal
Three deaths were reported including that of a 2-month-old girl in Odisha as extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan, the strongest storm since the 1999 Super Cyclone, barrelled along the Odisha coast this morning before making landfall near Sunderbans in West Bengal late on Wednesday afternoon.
In Odisha, the maximum wind speed of 120 km per hour due to Cyclone Amphan was clocked in Dhamra coast in Bhadrak district while in Paradip it was around 100 km per hour. The cyclone uprooted trees and bent electric poles in coastal Odisha districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and Balasore. Nearly 34 lakh power consumers in the state were affected as 65 units of 33 KV feeders were affected due to the cyclone. However, more than 90 per cent of telecom infrastructure was not affected, Special Relief Commissioner Pradip Jena said.
In Bhadrak district, a two-month-old infant died after the wall of his family’s kutcha house collapsed early on Wednesday morning. The newborn son of farmer Balaram Das in Kannada village of Bhadrak’s Tihidi block was sleeping when the wall of the house gave in due to overnight rain. In Kendrapara district, a woman who had gone out fishing this morning was drowned to death.
A woman of Bhogarai block in Balasore district died after an electric pole fell on her. The woman had stepped outside for some work when the pole uprooted due to the winds.
“We have received reports of a child’s death at Tihidi in the Bhadrak district. The District Collector has sent a team, comprising the tehsildar, medical and police officials. The exact cause will be ascertained after autopsy,” Jena said. Officials, however, did not clarify why the family of the deceased newborn could not be shifted to a cyclone shelter.
Jena said after the cyclone passed by Odisha, road clearance started in Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak districts by NDRF, ODRAF, Fire Service and workers of Odisha Forest Development Corporation.
Early in the morning, the port town of Paradip faced Cyclone Amphan’s fury as winds of over 100 kmph uprooted scores of trees, electric poles, blew away asbestos and tin roofs of several houses accompanied by over 200 mm of rain. At Paradip port, over 100 truck drivers have taken shelter inside their vehicles, waiting for the storm to blow over.
Officials had evacuated over 1.5 lakh people from the coastal and adjoining districts into cyclone shelters till Tuesday evening. Around 1,585 pregnant women were also brought to safety by authorities in the coastal districts.
In a village of Kendrapara district, a woman delivered her baby in a fire service vehicle while being taken to a government hospital. The woman and her newborn girl were later admitted to the hospital and were said to be out of danger. Janaki Sethi (20), wife of Hatim Sethi (25) of Janhara village under Mahakalapada police station area of Kendrapara district went into labour this morning. Her family tried to contact the ambulance but the service could not be made available to them due to adverse weather conditions and due to roads being blocked by fallen trees.
Later, two fire service teams equipped with tree cutting machinery cleared the road blockade and carried Sethi in the fire tender to hospital. However, she delivered a baby girl midway in the vehicle.